MSU Museum Welcomes Dr. Ethan Watrall as Curator of Archaeology

The Michigan State University (MSU) Museum is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Ethan Watrall as Curator of Archaeology, effective August 15, 2023. Dr. Watrall’s expertise as an anthropological archaeologist coupled with his scholarly focus on the use of digital methods and computational approaches in archaeology and heritage will significantly enhance the Museum’s strategic priorities.

In his new role, Dr. Watrall will take the lead in developing, researching, interpreting, and stewarding the archaeological collections housed by the MSU Museum. With a deep passion for the power and purpose of museum collections, Dr. Watrall aims to ignite enthusiasm and engagement around the archaeological collections among students, faculty, and the broader community.

Known for his innovative work in digital heritage and archaeology, Dr. Watrall’s efforts will enhance the Museum’s mission by exploring the application of cutting-edge digital approaches such as collections digitization, augmented reality, physical computing, and mobile and place-based digital experiences. By applying this knowledge and expertise at the MSU Museum, he will enable creative and thoughtful approaches to making the archaeological collection more accessible and engaging for everyone.

“Like most archaeologists, I’ve spent much of my career working in and with museums,” said Dr. Watrall. “To play a more central role in my own campus museum is wildly exciting, and I am very much looking forward to bringing my own work, perspective, and experience to the space.”

Dr. Watrall’s appointment comes during a transformative shift for the MSU Museum, transitioning from being a repository of knowledge to becoming a catalyst for enriched teaching, learning, and research. With his expertise and vision, Dr. Watrall will play a key role in helping to shape the Museum’s dynamic future.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Watrall to the MSU Museum,” said MSU Museum Director Devon Akmon. “His expertise and forward-thinking approach will undoubtedly enrich our efforts in advancing teaching, learning, research, and community outreach.”

As Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Watrall will continue to fulfill his teaching, research, service, and outreach responsibilities in the Department of Anthropology, further strengthening the ties between the MSU Museum and the campus community.